Public swimming pools and summer playground activities in the city of Allentown will be closed this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a stay at home order in mid-March to limit the spread of the deadly disease that included Lehigh County. That order remains in effect through June 4. Even if the county advances to a limited reopening phase, crowd sizes are capped at 25, making it virtually impossible for the pools and playground programs to operate and stay in compliance.
“There is simply no way to accurately project when we would be able to meet the criteria to open pools and playgrounds,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “At present no area of the state is allowed gatherings of more than 25 persons and the benchmarks for allowing more than 25 have not even been established. We cannot expect to hire lifeguards and other pool personnel and playground program instructors for an opening day that may never come. I pray everyday that science develops a successful, dependable treatment for the disease or a vaccine to immunize us against COVID-19 so that our lives can return to normal.”
The city is looking at developing other short-term warmer weather cooling-off activities if there is some positive change in guidance participation numbers from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The stay at home order or limited yellow phase is also resulting in the cancellation of the movies in the parks and outdoor music concert series in the city. The West Park Bandshell is usually a location for dozens of concerts throughout the spring and summer.
Allentown’s dog and skate parks will remain closed until further notice.
The city has suspended all pavilion and field rentals at city facilities until further notice.
Existing scheduled renters have been notified regarding rescheduling of events or issuing of refunds. No further pavilion or field permits are being issued at this time.